Who struggles with: bloat, gas, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, reflux or GERD? Statistically, at least half of you; actually, since you all are health seekers, I bet more than that. Please read this, because your gut issues are EARLY WARNING SIGNS THAT SHOULDN’T BE IGNORED.
What I mean by that is if you’ve had any of those conditions long enough, other conditions will arise: headaches, depression, thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis / auto immune disorders, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, even autism and behavior disorders. Seriously. It’s a big deal, and band-aiding your symptoms with anti-gas/anti-pain/anti-acid medications will absolutely set you up for disaster down the road.
Hippocrates said, ” all disease begins in the gut.” Science has proven him to be completely correct.
Let me stop here for a second: suppressing symptoms with medications, instead of solving the reason for the symptom, is not a good idea, ever. Unfortunately, that “brain washing” I talk about comes into play here: got a headache, take a pill, got a stomach ache, take a pill, something hurts, take a pill, feel sad/down/anxious, take a pill. For all of you who take pills, ASK YOURSELF, HAVE THEY RESOLVED YOUR PROBLEMS? OR ARE THOSE PILLS JUST A REGULAR PART OF YOUR LIFE NOW AS YOU TRY TO SUPPRESS YOUR BODIES CALLS FOR HELP DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY?
Back to the gut, here’s a little 411: all those gut symptoms I listed above are NOT NORMAL. They shouldn’t happen in a well functioning gut, but that doesn’t mean you need medication. It’s a sign that your food isn’t digesting quickly or well enough. You can fix that without medications. Gut medications have serious CONSEQUENCES; pull out your sheet from the pharmacist, or look in / on the box, and you’ll be able to read all about them. Note this: 6 to 8 weeks is the MAXIMUM amount of time the FDA says ANYONE should be on most gut meds. That’s because of the damage they cause. It’s not hypothetical, and that damage won’t just happen to other people, it will happen to you.
What’s the first issue to address? Your stomach isn’t acid enough. God made our stomach to be incredibly acidic. Acid kills virus, bacteria, parasites, yeast, and pathogens; acid starts the initial break down of protein and fats; and it triggers the correct steps for the rest of the “southern digestion” in the small and large intestine. Reduce your acid, and you inhibit all this, and create a gut condition ripe for problems.
There’s a great book by Dr. Jonathan Wright called Why Stomach Acid is Good For You, it’s awesome, and I wish everyone would read it. If you want the short version, here’s a You Tube of Dr. Wright explaining it in 9 minutes.
There’s some simple tricks to acidify your stomach BACK TO NORMAL, which would hasten your digestion and allow for the proper digestive path to be followed.
What reduces acid, or actually, what suppresses acid production in the gut? Many prescription and OTC drugs, stress, simple sugars/flours, phosphoric acid from sodas and drinks, certain chemicals in foods, and again: stress or more specifically, the hormone Cortisol. Imagine the damage we’ve done to our gut after years and years of the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the pills we’ve used to conceal the symptoms.
The second issue to address with bloat, gas, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, and GERD, is the “consequence” issue; or what happens after you’ve had this condition for years. This was me. I started having BLOAT in my mid thirties. I thought it was because I ate so healthy (pounds of fiber cereal, fiber breads, and fruits and vegetables). I thought my bloat/gas/pain was actually an outward sign of my healthiness!! I developed really bad asthma and had blood clots in my late thirties. I took several meds for the asthma, but when the blood clots happened, that was a wake up call. I wasn’t going on blood thinners, and I made the connection between the two conditions: they were both “inflammatory” conditions. I made no connection to my gut at this point whatsoever; but there was.
When you have Bloat/Gas/Reflux/GERD etc, that means you have Low Stomach Acid. Low Stomach Acid means your food isn’t digesting properly down to the little tiny molecules that absorb through the small intestine wall into the blood stream. Not only does that make you nutrient deficient, but big proteins (as opposed to tiny amino acids), break through the intestine wall and create “leaky gut“, aka Intestinal Permeability. Now that you have holes in your gut lining, bacteria and virus that didn’t get killed ( because you don’t have enough stomach acid), and metabolic waste products, ALL OF WHICH SHOULD BE CONFINED TO YOUR GUT, and these big protein chains, “leak out” through the holes, into the bloodstream, where your Immune System sees them and ATTACKS THEM LIKE THE FOREIGN INVADERS THAT THEY ARE. This should be good, right? Wrong.
Keep eating the SAD, keep taking the drugs, and the holes stay open, because you’re perpetuating the situation. INFLAMMATION IS DEVELOPING AND BUILDING as the Immune System stays on ‘over drive’. Pretty soon, it’s attacking other proteins that “mimic” or resemble the big proteins; proteins in your Lungs, your Thyroid, your Heart, Your Joints, your Brain. Remember, there’s plenty of proteins in those organs because the body is built from proteins and fats.
My point: if you have Gut Issues, resolve the cause, don’t try to cover the symptoms. If you have the Resultant Damage from years of gut issues (crohns,colitis, …), you’re going to have to “heal and seal” your gut if you want Real Healing and Improvement. How long will this take? I don’t know, from weeks to months, it depends on the damage you’ve done and how hard you work; but everyone can heal.
Everyone has the power to feel energetic, clear thinking, positive, and healthy, but only if you’re ready to commit to a different path. If you’re struggling mentally and physically, all you have to do is look backwards and make an honest assessment of what you’ve done to get there. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out, you just need to turn off the brain washing and really focus on making that serious connection between what we put in our mouth to our mind and body. The food we eat becomes us. The food we eat becomes us. The food we eat becomes us.
Let’s look at another very SAD food product, Chicken Helper, Crispy Ranch Chicken. Betty Crocker’s/General Mills market shares are down a little, they’ve taken a hit from Kraft’s Mac N Cheese Skillet dinners and frozen food items. Still, the Hamburger Helper line sells around (2010) $350 Million A Year.
A serving size is one third of a cup. Does anyone eat a third of a cup of food for dinner? Anyway, a THIRD OF A CUP is 350 calories of crappy fats, crappy carbs, and crappy chemicals. Cancer in a box!
Instead of falling prey to food products like this, do the Real Whole Food thing, here’s some ideas: Slow cook a roast for 24 hours: salt/pepper/herb it; wrap it in a couple layers of aluminum foil, put it in the over at 180*, 24/25 hours before you want to eat it, and DON’T LOOK AT IT. When it’s done, pull it out and shred it with two forks. Keep some in the fridge for the week, and freeze the rest, flat, in freezer bags. Here’s the before and after pictures of a lamb roast I just did. It was about as big as a loaf of fat bread.
Next, in a big frying pan, put in some broth OR butter and water, and cook onions, broccoli and carrots; or cook a bag of frozen vegetables. Bake a few whole potatoes in the oven for an hour at 425. Dinner’s done without a lot of effort.
We are the end result of what we put in our mouth. What we eat matters. Take the action steps necessary to be healthy and whole. Eat Real Whole Food, and remember, focus on your health and your weight issues will resolve.